When you were stationed in Munich were you approached by any foreign nationals to spy for the other
AnswerIt was the Cold War — and suspicions ran high. I was under the same restrictions that Mitch was:
• cannot enter East Berlin or take the U.S. Army duty train through East Germany to Berlin
• cannot visit any Eastern European countries
• always be on the alert for any attempt to get me to work for The Other Side
Between my two jobs (Army-Air Force Motion Picture Service and the 66th Military Intelligence Group) Mitch and I went off for a week in Copenhagen to make up for our disastrous attempt to get to Copenhagen a year earlier.
(The occasion when we were dumped off the train late at night between Germany and Denmark because we had the wrong papers and Mitch might be trying to go AWOL. No, it did not do any good to explain that officers do not go AWOL from Germany.)
And since I made peanuts at the Army-Air Force Motion Picture Service we could only afford to eat at Arthur Frommer’s suggested cheap places.
Picture this. It’s September 1971. Most of the American summer tourists have already gone home. Mitch’s hair is cut so short he broadcasts ARMY. And we are eating fish sandwiches in some second floor Frommer special where only Americans advised by Frommer would eat.
An older man with grey hair sits down next to us. In English he says, “I’ve just returned from visiting Russia. The people there are so nice. Serious. Not like the fun-loving Danes.”
Now the normal American tourist would shrug this guy off. A nut case. Mitch and I know better.
We touch knees under the table. A classic pick-up attempt. Right out of the pages of the military intelligence manual I had to read before signing my life away.
We gulp down our sandwiches and flee out of there. Where to? What if he follows? Quick. To Tivoli Gardens. We can get lost there among the amusement park rides and food offerings. Just like in the spy movies.
We run the three or four blocks and thrust our admittance money at the ticket taker.
For good measure, once inside Tivoli we dash hither and thither among the fun-loving Danes to ensure escape.
By the time we get back to Munich we do not report the incident as required. A week with the fun-loving Danes has clouded our judgment. Was it really a pick-up attempt? Maybe the guy was just a nut case.